Here is a recipe inspired by our RMH Secret Garden 2014 August vegetable harvest!  Read my blog about our raised beds and square foot vegetable gardening.  Learning to grow good, healthy food and being friends is what we do!


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July is birthday month at our house. We decided to do a joint birthday party with family and friends in the middle of the month for both of our kids. After seeing an inspiring blog post by a fellow Red Shoe Friend, we decided to encourage our guests to bring a small item from the Ronald McDonald House Wish List. Many of the items on the wish list are small, but as we all know, a little goes a long way. These things help the families feel a little closer to home.
Our five year old has some experience with being at Children’s for a minor surgery. We explained to her that there are some kids that go there because they are very sick, and sometimes their families have to stay across the street. It was easy and fun to explain to her that we were asking our friends to bring things to those families to help them out and make them smile. That, in turn, brought a smile to her face.
My children and I will be dropping off the laundry basket of items we collected at the House next week. I am so looking forward to seeing the pride in their faces when we deliver these items. This will be a tradition we continue in the years to come.

Jessica Miller is a member of the “Red Shoe Friends”, a volunteer group that supports and serves as an ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House through personal giving, fundraising and event support. She and her husband have two children ages 5 and 3.

The Ronald McDonald House has been such a blessing for our family! Our six-month-old needed open heart surgery. That, of course, caused a lot of anxiety and stress. Being able to have a place to truly rest and have fun with our toddler was such a help. I thought the Ronald McDonald House was…a house. It has blown me away! Home-cooked meals, lunches ready to go, an amazing playroom, playground, beautiful and peaceful garden, and a clean and cozy room. It was SO much more than we expected! It made our lives so much less stressful during a challenging time. Thank you!

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It was my son’s first time he was going to be staying here. I told him we were going to stay at the Ronald McDonald House and he replied, “Old McDonald has a farm, not a house!” After my short moment of laughter, I said, “He’s so awesome he has a house, too!” While we were here, he had so much fun. When we had to be back at the hospital two weeks later, Carson saw me crying at the thought of having my youngest, Dylan, flighted back to the hospital only nine days after we had been discharged. Carson leaned over to me and said, “It’s okay, we can stay at Old McDonald’s House ‘cause it is so fun there and we can play!” It made me smile.

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During our almost nine-week stay at the Ronald McDonald House, I was continuously impressed with all of the donations that came in. During the last week we were there, we saw that there were Brewers tickets available for an afternoon game, so my husband went into the office to see about them. We were very surprised to find out that these were suite tickets with parking included. After my husband did some research online, he found that the donated tickets gave him the option of having something put up on the scoreboard. He sent an email and received a reply that the message would be displayed.

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The Secret Garden is a certified National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat certificate number 124,907!
All around us, the natural habitat for wildlife is decreasing, disappearing. In the Secret Garden, we choose to create a garden that works to restore the ecological balance. We plant native plants. We have a multilevel water feature. We provide shelter and cover places for raising young. We practice sustainable gardening by being an organic garden with soil and water conservation.

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Hi Friends,

It’s me, McNugget! It’s been a while since I introduced myself to you. I think maybe I should tell you what I’ve been up to. I’m still with the Hurrle family. I enjoy hanging around Dan, Adam, Mary, and my best friend, Pepper. Pepper is my canine sister. My favorite human though is my mom, Beth. She feeds me, brushes my fur, walks me daily and, overall, she takes care of me. Dad calls me a “mama’s boy,” if that’s what I am, I really don’t mind!

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I had never realized the importance of volunteerism to this extent until I began interning at the Ronald McDonald House. Now that I am an intern here I see how much it takes to maintain the House and how important it is to the families staying there to get the care their children need while being able to stay with them to do so.

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I am ecstatic that summer has begun! In particular, I am excited for the Wednesday Movie Night program to continue over the summer.  The program has been expanded recently, including themed nights. For instance, last week we just did a fish-themed night for Finding Nemo which included fish stuffed animals and books to accompany the movie. In the coming weeks, we are planning dog-themed nights, where McNugget will stop by to watch movies with our guests. The movie night will also soon be moving back down to the conference room, where a big projection screen is available to play the movies.

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It was a hard winter. In April, the Secret Garden plants were brown from winter desiccation and animal damage. The landscape looked dismal, the worst in the Garden’s 13 springs. Very slowly, little by little, the Garden awakened. The gardeners began their dedicated work of renewal. The first warm spring rain started new growth, longer days brought more color. However, many of our plants did not come back. We are still nurturing some struggling survivors. Creatively, we are planting new, stronger varieties and putting protection around plants vulnerable to animals.

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